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If you want to give the kitchen or bathroom in your RV, apartment, or home a facelift but don't want to rent a tile saw and are looking for something a little different than the wildly popular peel and stick mosaic tiles, one of these backsplashes may be perfect for you.
This list is specifically comprised of backsplash ideas that meet most or all of following criteria:
- Easy to do: Requiring no special expertise or expensive one-time use tools.
- Affordable: Most of these ideas could be done for under $100 in a space as small as a camper, motorhome, tiny home, or apartment, and many of them would probably cost under $50.
- Easy to clean: The whole point of a backsplash is to protect walls from being permanently stained with spaghetti sauce splatters.
- RV-friendly: Lightweight and durable to withstand movement during travel
Additionally, many of these backsplashes are removable, making them an ideal choice for renters or for RV owners who don't want to make permanent changes to their motorhome or travel trailer.
1. Painted backsplash
High gloss or semi-gloss paint wipes clean easily, and it could be covered with plexiglass to make it even more wipeable as long as it's not right next to a gas flame (plexiglass melts at 320° F).
This backsplash was painted to look like mosaic tiles. You can read about the complete process and see more pictures here.
See the step-by-step process for painting the colorful chevron backsplash pictured below here.
This backsplash was painted on plywood so that it could be easily removed later, a technique that could preserve an original RV backsplash. Find out how it was done here.
The backsplash pictured below was painted with chalkboard paint. You might wonder if it would be hard to clean, but the homeowner who blogged about the process reports that it is easy to wipe off the occasional grease splatter.
If you are avoiding making any permanent changes to your RV, you could try creating your own removable wallpaper.
This DIY wallpaper backsplash was created from maps and then glued to plywood and covered with shellac, and would be perfect for a travel themed RV. See the step-by-step process here.
Or perhaps colorful Spanish tile decals like these could be used in place wallpaper to create a backsplash (even without real tile underneath)?
3. Fabric + plexiglass
Another removable option is fabric, which can be attached to the wall using double-sided tape and covered with plexiglass or adhered directly to plexiglass. As was mentioned above, plexiglass melts at 320° F, so for that reason this backsplash probably should not be used directly next to a gas flame. However, it would look great along a wall behind a counter. Caulking along the bottom of the plexiglass would prevent water from seeping under the edge and being absorbed by the fabric.
4. Colored plexiglass
Our last idea involving plexiglass. This idea is simple, yet clean, modern, and colorful. Plexiglass can be purchased in a variety of colors, or the back of clear plexiglass can be spray painted the color of your choice. After cutting it to fit the space, it can be installed using silicone adhesive (permanent) or Velcro (temporary). A decal might even be added to complete the look.
Read about how homeowner Amber used plexiglass to achieve this look in her kitchen, pictured below.
5. Faux subway tile
If you love the look of subway tile but want an easier alternative to having to cut and grout tile, you might consider a peel-and-stick faux subway tile like a friend of mine used in her RV renovation. Here's a similar brand to what she used.
6. Faux stone or brick
This RV kitchen backsplash was created using stacked stone wallpaper.
The RV kitchen below features this wallpaper.
Here is an RV kitchen featuring a brick wallpaper backsplash.
White brick wallpaper brightens this RV kitchen.
7. Ceiling Tiles
Punched tin ceiling tiles are beautiful and easy to hang, but the price can add up. One RV owner cut the cost and created the beautiful backsplash pictured below by making a mosaic using this custom sample pack.
Later Debby gave the “tin” a more “aged” look. She says, “I lightly sponged a darker gray and a thin, watery black, just here and there to make it look more aged and then went over the whole thing with a clear poly to add protection and some luster back after the other technique.” She also ended up painting her cabinets white, as you can see here.
8. Bead board
Bead board, used in the RV kitchen shown below, is an inexpensive option that looks especially nice with country or farmhouse decor. Learn how to install it here. You can also install it in a herringbone pattern for a different look. Alternatively, you could try using paintable bead board wallpaper.
9. Wood plank (“shiplap”)
This homeowner used peel-and-stick vinyl flooring, which she then painted, to create faux shiplap. While the result looks great, it is also very difficult to remove later if needed, and may shift some with an RV's constant movement (see the comments at the bottom of the post).
These RVers made a wood plank wall quite cheaply from real wood:
A similar look was achieved in this kitchen by cutting a sheet plywood into strips. Caulking between the boards prevents water from getting through to the wall underneath.
RV owner Dan Wegh made a beautiful backsplash for his vintage camper out of inexpensive aluminum roll flashing (available at places like Lowe's and Home Depot).
Here you can see the technique Dan used to create the diamond pattern:
Looking for other ideas for updating your RV kitchen? You might enjoy my blog post about painting RV cabinets, this one about RV countertop makeover ideas, or this blog post about RV refrigerator makeovers.